Are puzzles a worthy or wasteful use of time?

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Just as the body needs exercise to stay healthy, so does the MIND.

Those who continue to exercise the brain by regularly attempting puzzles or learning something new have a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s or dementia. Games and puzzles stretch the problem-solving skill of the brain. 

We are now not limited to the crossword or sudoku books sold at the newsstand. The internet has a treasure trove of puzzle games. However, it is advisable to put a limit on the amount of time spent on any puzzle as they can be addictive, especially the interactive ones on our phones. Just fifteen minutes a day is enough. 

A short puzzle break is actually a good way to reset your brain if you are feeling overwhelmed or “brain dead” by a task at hand. Though, be careful that it doesn’t become an excuse for not starting or completing a particular task.

If the time spent on puzzles starts to impact our daily productivity or our relationships, then they are becoming a wasteful rather than worthy use of our time. 

Try doing mind puzzles when you can’t be doing anything else. For example, when I was a busy mum, I would use the puzzles on my phone while waiting for my children to finish their dental appointments or after-school activities. It was a much better use of time than reading one of those gossipy magazines usually found in waiting rooms.

Get started by searching “free puzzle games” in your phone App Store or looking online for your favourite type of puzzle.

Here is a word search I quickly found online.